Archive for the ‘Economics’ Category

>Economic outlook for Alabama looks good!

July 2, 2010

>On Facebook I have friends of all stripes, even teabaggers. One, whom many of you know, is particularly critical of our president and his policies. I’m not going to call him out by name, but here are some of the comments he’s posted on my Facebook page.

“This administration is THE WORST we have EVER had. It won’t matter WHO runs against BHO in 2012, he doesn’t have a CHANCE! THANK GOD! “

“It’s NOT getting better. The economy is down, the jobless rate is not improving, the housing market has crashed.”

“Not ONE SINGLE PROGRAM that Obama is trying is working. “

“Economic numbers & approval rating numbers will show you that we are worse off than we have EVER been & we aren’t happy about it. There is nothing this moron has done that has even begun to turn this country around.”

Let’s look at some trends. When coming out of a recession, or a depression, trends are more important than individual numbers because factors that may cause a temporary rise or fall are more easily identified. Plus, you get a sense of where things are heading.

These figures are from Gallup.

Here’s a chart that shows job creation for the last 7 months. The per cent of employers that are hiring is indicated by the dark green line, and the per cent of employers letting people go is indicated by the light green line.

Clearly, these trends are both moving in the right direction. Almost one third of employers in the U. S. are hiring right now. About one in five are still having to lay off or fire people.

Surely we need even more improvement in these numbers, but the trend is favorable.

Here is a chart that indicates underemployment in the U. S. for the last 7 months. Underemployment includes the unemployed and those who are employed part-time but want to work full time. These numbers were released by Gallup earlier this week and based on their findings they predicted unemployment numbers released today to be 9.5%.

Notice, again, the trend. Underemployment is declining.

When the unemployment numbers were released this morning, 9.5 was the figure. Pretty good prediction, Gallup.

Here’s the unemployment chart released this morning by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Not a great drop in unemployment, but better than most analysts (except Gallup) predicted, and certainly a move in the right direction.

Let’s bring the economic news home to Alabama.

In this morning’s Birmingham News,in the money section,was this headline and story:

State gains solid ground on recovery, UA survey says.

Alabama business leaders believe the state has turned the corner on a meaningful economic recovery, according to the results of a University of Alabama survey released this morning.

The Alabama Business Confidence Index, derived from responses from 345 business executives across the state, indicates expansion for the second quarter in a row, after 10 consecutive quarters of contraction. “Given the successful forecasting history of the index, this should be a good indication that the recovery has taken hold,” officials at the university’s Center for Business and Economic Research note in a report.

All elements of the confidence index scored in positive territory this quarter, meaning expectations are growing for increased hiring, sales and profits in coming months. “The operating environment for Alabama businesses should be much improved,” the report says.

So, it looks like the situation is improving and is poised for further improvement here in Alabama.

If my friend who can’t see the forest for the tea leaves would keep up with the news and what is going on, instead of only listening to Faux Network, he would realize that President Obama is doing as good as could be expected with congress so divided as it is. That’s a whole different story, for another day.

There are other indications that the president is doing a good job and that the things he is doing are working, but this is enough for today.

Show Me the Money, Gays

May 30, 2008

Happy Birthday Red!!!

My youngest turns 18 today. Yes that makes me feel old. Here are both kids (not current – from a couple of years ago)


Scroll down to yesterday’s post to see listings of Pride events. Happily, Central Alabama Pride finally has their permit for next weekend’s parade.

CAP president Jonathan Quinn is still working to get rainbow flags or banners up in Five Points as in past years, and is working with merchants in the area. “They know what we do for the community and what business we bring and they appreciate our time and money.”

The gay community’s money is green, just like straight money. Years ago, when Pensacola was “wrestling” with hosting the big gay beach event on Memorial Day, the gay community made a point. A big one. With pink markers they drew triangles on their green money (never mind the color clash, this ain’t fashion) so that business owners could see just how much gay money was being spent. Business leaders got the message, city leaders enjoyed the tax revenue, and the heat against the gay event died down.

CW says gays and lesbians would have more disposable income than other groups, since many of the group have no children. But there are other reasons as well.

The following comes from various sources, including : Selig Center (African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American Buying Power), U.S. Census estimates, and Witeck-Combs Communications and MarketResearch.com.

Gays are:

  • More than twice as likely as the national index to be professionals or managers.
  • 3.4 times more likely as the national index to have incomes over 250K.
  • twice as likely to have graduated from college

And there are reasons for business people to cater to the GLBT community:

  • 2000 census shows that partnered gays and lesbians live in over 99% of U. S. counties
  • 9% 0f urban populations are gay
  • Gay men and lesbians go out more, buy more, have more disposable income and are extremely loyal consumers
  • Gay and lesbian consumers purchase from companies/brands that advertise in gay media, deliver product messages in gay-specific advertising, support gay and lesbian community causes and are good to their own gay and lesbian employees
  • 60 percent took a foreign trip in the last three years
  • 59 percent buy themselves whatever they want

And there is this. In 2003, America’s 17 million Gays had 485 billion in buying power, compared to 688 billion for the nation’s 36 million African Americans and 653 billion for America’s 37 million Hispanics. That calculates to 1.5 times per capita buying power for gays compared to other groups.

So listen up, merchants. Gays are paying your mortgage and your kids college tuition. Fly the flags and let us know you appreciate us (well, our money, anyway).

And things are looking up in California. A Los Angeles Times poll taken just after the Supreme court decision for marriage equality showed that by a 54 to 35 % margin, Californians were in support of the proposed amendment banning same sex marriage.

More recently, a Field Poll, which has been tracking same sex marraige since 1977, when only 28% favored it, now shows that by a 51 to 42% difference gays should have the right to marry.

That difference in opinion has occured in just a couple of weeks since the decision. I think that by the time the vote comes around, the measure will be defeated handily. But not without hard work by people on the ground in California.

The Human Rights Campaign points out that marriage equality could last only 173 days if the ban is approved in November. Continue to visit Equality for All and donate to their effort to defeat the anti-equality amendment.

Enjoy Central Alabama Pride, even if you are not gay. The Art Show is tonight (see below).

>Show Me the Money, Gays

May 30, 2008

>Happy Birthday Red!!!

My youngest turns 18 today. Yes that makes me feel old. Here are both kids (not current – from a couple of years ago)


Scroll down to yesterday’s post to see listings of Pride events. Happily, Central Alabama Pride finally has their permit for next weekend’s parade.

CAP president Jonathan Quinn is still working to get rainbow flags or banners up in Five Points as in past years, and is working with merchants in the area. “They know what we do for the community and what business we bring and they appreciate our time and money.”

The gay community’s money is green, just like straight money. Years ago, when Pensacola was “wrestling” with hosting the big gay beach event on Memorial Day, the gay community made a point. A big one. With pink markers they drew triangles on their green money (never mind the color clash, this ain’t fashion) so that business owners could see just how much gay money was being spent. Business leaders got the message, city leaders enjoyed the tax revenue, and the heat against the gay event died down.

CW says gays and lesbians would have more disposable income than other groups, since many of the group have no children. But there are other reasons as well.

The following comes from various sources, including : Selig Center (African-American, Hispanic and Asian-American Buying Power), U.S. Census estimates, and Witeck-Combs Communications and MarketResearch.com.

Gays are:

  • More than twice as likely as the national index to be professionals or managers.
  • 3.4 times more likely as the national index to have incomes over 250K.
  • twice as likely to have graduated from college

And there are reasons for business people to cater to the GLBT community:

  • 2000 census shows that partnered gays and lesbians live in over 99% of U. S. counties
  • 9% 0f urban populations are gay
  • Gay men and lesbians go out more, buy more, have more disposable income and are extremely loyal consumers
  • Gay and lesbian consumers purchase from companies/brands that advertise in gay media, deliver product messages in gay-specific advertising, support gay and lesbian community causes and are good to their own gay and lesbian employees
  • 60 percent took a foreign trip in the last three years
  • 59 percent buy themselves whatever they want

And there is this. In 2003, America’s 17 million Gays had 485 billion in buying power, compared to 688 billion for the nation’s 36 million African Americans and 653 billion for America’s 37 million Hispanics. That calculates to 1.5 times per capita buying power for gays compared to other groups.

So listen up, merchants. Gays are paying your mortgage and your kids college tuition. Fly the flags and let us know you appreciate us (well, our money, anyway).

And things are looking up in California. A Los Angeles Times poll taken just after the Supreme court decision for marriage equality showed that by a 54 to 35 % margin, Californians were in support of the proposed amendment banning same sex marriage.

More recently, a Field Poll, which has been tracking same sex marraige since 1977, when only 28% favored it, now shows that by a 51 to 42% difference gays should have the right to marry.

That difference in opinion has occured in just a couple of weeks since the decision. I think that by the time the vote comes around, the measure will be defeated handily. But not without hard work by people on the ground in California.

The Human Rights Campaign points out that marriage equality could last only 173 days if the ban is approved in November. Continue to visit Equality for All and donate to their effort to defeat the anti-equality amendment.

Enjoy Central Alabama Pride, even if you are not gay. The Art Show is tonight (see below).